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BLINK Cincinnati!

I honestly feel like I would be remiss not to give a shout out to BLINK Cincinnati happening this weekend.  BLINK, a free light show meets art show meets fantasy show, started Thursday night and runs through Sunday night.

While I was super impressed by the transformation of the beautiful buildings downtown and the classic Cincy murals dancing with color, what truly blew me away was the sheer number of people walking around Cincinnati! I kept telling my husband that I felt like I was walking downtown New York City!  ALL kinds of people.  Families.  Young.  Elderly.  Gay.  Straight.  Rich.  Poor.  Republican.  Democrat.  Dressed to the nines.  Jeans and comfy tennis shoes.  Black.  White.  We were ALL there together.  Lately, I’ve been feeling so heavy about the divisiveness spreading across not only our city but our country as well.  I’ve been feeling like everyone has an opinion, eager to share, but no one wants to listen, truly listen, to those who think differently than themselves.  Too much hate! So to see people from every walk of life enjoying a shared experience, laughing and dancing and taking pictures and playing and squeezing like sardines on the streetcar, well, my heart was full.  So what did BLINK offer?  Hope.  And if that hope comes through the form of lights and music, that’s all the more beautiful.

If you do plan on heading downtown, and I urge you to go, just know that the traffic will be crazy and the streets will be packed.  But enjoy it!  Wear comfortable shoes.  Plan on walking!  Be patient.  Stop at a local restaurant or food truck you’ve never tried before!  The displays cover over 20 city blocks including Findlay Market, Washington Park, Fountain Square, the Banks, and plenty of places in between.  We spent 5.5 hours and I’m not sure we saw it all.  Ideally, we will go back tomorrow night.  I suggest arriving a bit early to secure a parking spot. The lights turn on at 7 pm and end at midnight. Most importantly, use the map and the app!  Yep, there’s a BLINK app.  Otherwise, you simply will miss some of the coolest spots.

P.S.- I could have uploaded a hundred pics and videos, but I don’t want to ruin all the surprise!  🙂

Here is a link to the event map:

Also, don’t miss Summerfair:

GO THERE (Downtown Cincinnati)!  TRY THAT (Walking the city with a fresh set of eyes; saying hello to a stranger)!



WKRC Cincinnati and Lasagna Grilled Cheese

Monday was a pretty exciting day for me.  Somehow, I got invited to do a live food segment for WKRC Local Channel 12.  While I only had a few days to prepare, I felt so grateful for the experience.  I mean, how could I celebrate experiences and not embrace this one!?  I should tell you I was super nervous, but honestly, I was too geeked out to be nervous.  And although I kind of expected to find a super fancy studio, cameras everywhere, and news anchors too famous to talk to little ole’ me, this was not the case at all.  The studio is definitely not pretentious.  And the reporters and anchors?!  So kind.  Such fun personalities.  This made going on camera for the first time, well, a blast!  Also, I took a bunch of covert selfies while I was waiting . . . hopefully, no cameras were around!

Studio A- just beyond that door! Where all the magic happens.

Guys! I got a mic!!

In the episode, I demonstrated how to make a Lasagna Grilled Cheese.  A bunch of people have asked me for the recipe so I wanted to include it in a post.  While I sort-of followed the recipe below, it’s an easy one to personalize.


16 oz mozzarella, sliced (can also use some tomato basil or provolone)

15 oz ricotta

2 Tbs. grated parmesan

1 tsp. fresh garlic, chopped (I use the “fresh” stuff in the tube)

16 oz. ground beef

8 slices Italian bread

2 Tbsp. softened butter

16 oz. marinara sauce, divided (I like Cucina Antica)

Fresh basil (I used the little container of “fresh” basil)


  1.  In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, 1 Tbsp. grated parmesan, garlic, and basil.  Set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef (optional: add onion powder, garlic powder, fresh chopped onion)
  3. Add at least half of the marina sauce to the ground beef and stir
  4. Lightly toast bread; butter outside of each slice with softened butter and sprinkle with parmesan
  5. On the nonbuttered side of each slice of bread, spread the ricotta mixture.
  6. OK- just to reiterate- all outsides are buttered and sprinkled with parmesan; all insides are coated with the ricotta mixture
  7. Add a thin layer of either mozzarella or tomato basil cheese on top of the ricotta mixture
  8. Add a layer of the beef/marinara
  9. Add another thin layer of cheese (either mozzarella or tomato basil)
  10. Add the outside bread to form the sandwich
  11. Move to a pre-heated pan and cook on medium heat; press down with a spatula.
  12. Cut and serve with remaining tomato sauce (use it as a dip)!

This recipe is great for a quick meal; just add soup or salad.  If you want to spice it up, add ground sausage.  Healthier version? Use ground turkey.  I did use Cucina Antica pasta sauce; I appreciate the clean label. And, instead of tomato paste, it has imported Italian tomatoes.  However, you can pick any sauce you like, or make your own.  I’ve been told it’s pretty easy to do.  This recipe is great for adults and kids.  If you have kids, create an assembly line and build the sandwiches together.

I also have some tips for making an awesome looking (and tasting grilled cheese):

  • Lightly toast the bread in the toaster before applying butter; this keeps the bread from tearing when the knife hits its surface.
  • Let the butter soften on the counter before applying it.  Cold butter = disaster.
  • Spray your spatula with cooking spray before using it to flip your sandwich.  This prevents the bread from sticking.
  • Allow the grilled cheese to cook entirely on one side before flipping.  Resist flipping back and forth.  Each side should hit the pan once.

Lasagna Grilled Cheese

Yummy! Warm! Comforting! Easy!

I am blown away by the positive feedback I’ve received from my first ever news segment; I will count that as a success. The team at channel 12 is so engaging and personable. I felt relaxed and totally able to be my dorky self!  Pinch me- I got to cook with Sheila Gray and Bob Herzog!!!!  Bonus- I got a hug from Bob (well, I might have pushed Sheila out the way to get that hug)! Plus, check out Adam Clements’ Instagram below! He mentioned me in his insta!!!  Crazy!!! I am one blessed lady sitting on cloud 9 right now!

What?! I got a pic with some of the anchors and reporters! 🙂

Hopefully, I will be back soon!  I kind of like this food-demo-cooking-TV-personality deal!  Seriously, I still can’t believe this happened.  Don’t wake me up!  If you didn’t get a chance to see the segment, check it out here and let me know what you think:

GO THERE (Channel 12 local news; my blog)!  TRY THAT (Making this lasagna grilled cheese; watching the segment)!